In the autumn, football rules the halls of Rutherford High School. Their games are mayhem, whether they are at Tryon Field, or on the other side of the state. Everyone is invested in their conquest, to devour every time under the sun.
Soccer and volleyball get to bask in some of that glory, too. Not to quite the same extent, but they still get to enjoy some of the luxuries that come with being known. Cross Country gets the occasional shout-out on Instagram as well.
However, there is one fall sport that flies completely under the radar, under the noses of almost every student at Rutherford High School: The Girl’s Tennis Team.
The team’s 10-7 record was a drastic improvement from last year’s 5-10 standing, qualifying for the state tournament and coming in second place in the NJIC Meadowlands Conference.
The R-Hi sat down with a few members of the Varsity squad, who reflected and shared their experiences of being on their tenure on the tennis team.
Why, and when did you join Tennis?
“I joined the tennis team as a Freshman.” Captain Amelia Perlmutter, (’23), said. “I had grown up playing it. It was the only sport I played that I was ever really good at. When I found out the High School had a team, I immediately signed up to play.”
Perlmutter was already a seasoned player when she joined the team, however the same cannot be said for Katie Bonnono, (’23), as well as the co-Captain, Arena Chowdhury (’23).
“I joined the team freshman year without any previous experience,” she said. “I had only played a few times on my own before the season, but knew there was something about it I really enjoyed.”
The other half of the Varsity team joined afterward, as sophomores, juniors, or even seniors, some of which hadn’t picked up a racket before.
Veronika Virotsko (’23) heard positive things about the team from its previous members, and decided to try her hand. “It looked like so much fun, and I really love and appreciate the sport.”
Margaret Turso (’25) was looking for a change of scenery after running Cross Country last fall as a freshman. “I really wanted to try something new, and I really enjoyed playing tennis.”
What’s your favorite part of being on the team?
On the nine-person varsity squad, which includes Perlmutter, Bononno, Virotsko, Turso, and Mishri Parikh (24), there seems to be a common consensus on what the best part of being on this team is, and that is the people.
“It’s all very close-knit,” Bononno informed us. ” There aren’t very many of us.”
“We have all gotten so close, and there is never a dull moment in practice, or at games.” Parikh said.
The Varsity team also includes Arena Chowdhury (’23), Cassidy Ovarsi (’25), Arrianna Amante (’26), and myself.
Seniors, what are you going to miss most about RHS Tennis?
When we asked this question to the seven seniors on the team, the response was unanimous. Every single one said they’d miss the team more than anything.
“I truly cherish the friendships I’ve made,” Perlmutter said. “The things that make the season great are the memories and times you share with your teammates.”
Ayse Akurt joined the program this fall as a senior. Despite her late entrance, she shares the same sentiment as a player just as experienced as Amelia. “I’ve been part of a few sports teams through high school, and tennis is definitely where I’ve felt most comfortable.”
As for what I’ll miss most? Everything. This program has opened so many doors for me and introduced me to so many people I am privileged to call my friends.